Before These Crowded Streets

Before These Crowded Streets

by Dave Matthews BandDave Matthews Band


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The Dave Matthews Band made their reputation through touring, spending endless nights on the road improvising. Often, their records hinted at the eclecticism and adventure inherent in those improvisation, but Before These Crowded Streets is the first album to fully capture that adventurous spirit. Not coincidentally, it's their least accessible record, even if it's more of a consolidation than it is a step forward. Early Dave Matthews albums were devoted to the worldbeat fusions of Graceland and Sting, but his RCA efforts incorporated these influences into a smoother, pop-oriented style. Here, everything hangs out. Old trademarks, like jittery acoustic grooves and jazzy chords, are here, augmented by complex polyrhythms, Mideastern dirges, and on two tracks, the slashing strings of the Kronos Quartet. Some fans may find the new, darker textures a little disarming at first, but they're a logical extension of the group's work, and in many ways, this sonic daring results in the most rewarding album they've yet recorded. The Dave Matthews Band haven't completely vanquished their demons, however -- songwriting remains a problem, especially since relying on grooves, improvisation, and texture allows them to skimp on melody, and Matthews' lyrics can be awkward and embarrassing, especially if he's writing about sex. Still, these are minor flaws on an album that relies on tone and improvisation, both of which are in ample supply on Before These Crowded Streets.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/28/1998
Label: Rca
UPC: 0078636766027
catalogNumber: 67660
Rank: 47427


  1. Pantala Naga Pampa
  2. Rapunzel
  3. The Last Stop
  4. Don't Drink the Water
  5. Stay (Wasting Time)
  6. Halloween
  7. The Stone
  8. Crush
  9. The Dreaming Tree
  10. Pig
  11. Spoon

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dave Matthews Band   Primary Artist
John D'earth   Trumpet
Kronos Quartet and Trio Da Kali   Ensemble
Dave Matthews   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Tawatha Agee   Background Vocals
Hank Dutt   Viola
Béla Fleck   Banjo
David Harrington   Violin
Joan Jeanrenaud   Cello
Brenda White-King   Background Vocals
Cindy Myzelle   Background Vocals
John Sherba   Violin
Butch Taylor   Organ,Piano
Alanis Morissette   Vocals
Carter Beauford   Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals
Greg Howard   Chapman Stick
Stefan Lessard   Bass
LeRoi Moore   Bass Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Penny Whistle
Tim Reynolds   Mandolin,Electric Guitar
Boyd Tinsley   Violin

Technical Credits

John D'earth   Orchestral Arrangements
Steve Harris   Engineer
Steve Lillywhite   Producer
Stephen Harris   Engineer
Thane Kerner   Art Direction

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